V. ASSERTING A RIGHT TO COMMENT.

The Montana Constitution declares:

The public has a right to expect governmental agencies to afford such reasonable opportunity for citizen participation in the operation of the agencies prior to the final decision as may be provided by law.

Mont. Const., Art. II, § 8 (1972). The Montana Supreme Court has rarely construed this provision, but it has indicated that the language "as may be provided by law" means that the Constitution does not create any rights of participation beyond what is created by statute. See Kadillak v. Anaconda Co., 184 Mont. 127, 602 P.2d 147 (1979).

The legislature implemented the constitutional intent by enacting Mont. Code Ann. §§ 2-3-101 to 114. These provisions provide general guidelines for public participation in governmental decisions.